Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 29 Jun 2008

I admit to being a bean snob. I usually eschew “supermarket” varieties in favor of something heirloom or just about anything from Rancho Gordo. But yesterday the people at the Kaiser Permanente booth at the Alameda County Fair gave me a bag containing veggie seeds, a (really really tasty) fresh peach, a sweet potato and a 1 lb. bag of El Mexicano Pinto Beans. “Pintos? How pedestrian… Well, a free bean is a free bean I guess. I just hope they’re fresh.”

Today, the day I spend prepping for the week to come, I decided to cook the pintos. A ham hock (cracked by the fine butcher), a chopped onion, 6 cloves of garlic, a beer, some fresh thyme and espazote{.broken_link}, dried bay, a couple whole dried cayennes, water to cover by a bit, blah blah blah. Clay olla{.broken_link}, stove top to boil, oven at 350, yadda yadda. 3.5 hrs later both the monthly house cleaning and the beans were done.

OMG, these pintos are fantastic. They hold their shape beautifully. The pot liquor (well-fortified with seasonings) was a meal in itself (which is good since I added too much liquid). The bean texture was creamy, bordering on decadent. The total yield was ten servings. If I were the sort who didn’t mind eating the same thing for every meal for a week (read: if I were a man) then I’d be completely set and wouldn’t have to cook until next weekend. As-is I’ll end up putting a lot of this beanie goodness into the freezer for future enjoyment.